Title:
Device and method for exercising a body part of a person
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a device for exercising a body part of a person, comprising a substantially annular member, means for gripping the member, the gripping means being arranged substantially in the centre of the annulus, a weight and means for guiding the weight along the member for generating a centrifugal force caused by rotation of the weight along the annular member. The present invention also relates to a method of exercising a body part of a person.



Inventors:
Amann, Michael Jeffery (Angerlo, NL)
Application Number:
10/486017
Publication Date:
05/05/2005
Filing Date:
10/31/2003
Assignee:
AMANN MICHAEL J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/108
International Classes:
A63B21/06; A63B21/22; A63B22/18; A63B21/065; (IPC1-7): A63B21/072; A63B21/075; A63B21/22
View Patent Images:
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20040097349Portable shoulder rehabilitation/exerciser apparatus and regimennMay, 2004Rogers
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20070135273Weight securing systemJune, 2007Ljevaja



Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard L Byrne (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Claims:
1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. A device for exercising a body part of a person, comprising: a) a substantially annular member; b) means for gripping the member, the gripping means being arranged substantially in the centre of the annulus; c) a weight; and d) means for guiding the weight along the member for generating a centrifugal force caused by rotation of the weight along the annular member.

18. The device according to claim 17, wherein the guiding means comprise a passage through the annular member, the weight rotatable along said passage.

19. The device according to claim 18, wherein the annular member is a hollow member and the weight comprises one or more balls, the balls being dimensioned so as to be freely movable inside the hollow member.

20. The device according to claim 18, wherein the annular member is a hollow member and the weight comprises a liquid, the liquid being rotatable inside the reservoir formed by the hollow member.

21. The device according to claim 17, wherein the guiding means comprise a bracket to which the weight is mounted, the bracket being provided with a slide for sliding the weight in a track provided in the periphery of the annular member.

22. The device according to claim 17, wherein the weight comprises a second annular member of a larger diameter than the first annular member and wherein the guiding means comprise a plurality of bearings arranged between the first and second annular members.

23. The device according to claim 17, wherein the annular member is hand-held.

24. The device according to claim 17, wherein the gripping means comprise a transverse handle attached to the annular member for gripping by the person.

25. The device according to claim 24, wherein the handle is detachably attached to the annular member.

26. The device according to claim 17, wherein the gripping means comprise a sleeve for gripping said body part of the person.

27. The device according to claim 26, wherein the sleeve is provided with straps for attaching the sleeve to said body part.

28. The device according to claim 17, wherein the gripping means comprise an elastic fabric provided with a central opening into which the body part can be inserted for gripping the body part.

29. The device according to claim 17, wherein the annular member is manufactured of a plurality of injection-molded material.

30. The device according to claim 17, wherein the annular member is manufactured of plastic.

31. The device according to claim 17, wherein the total weight of the device ranges from 0.2 kg to 3 kg, preferably from 0.3 kg to 0.9 kg.

32. A method of exercising a body part of a person with the device of claim 17, the method comprising the steps of: a) arranging the body part to be exercised in the centre of the annular member; b) attaching the body part to the annular member; and c) moving the body part causing the weight to rotate along the annular member for exerting a centrifugal exercising force on at least said body part.

Description:

The present invention relates to an exercise device for muscular training of a body part of a person. The present invention also relates to a method in which the exercise device is used.

Numerous exercising devices are on the market today, ranging from very simple devices, for instance dumb-bells, bar-bells, et cetera, to very complicated devices wherein use is made of computer-controlled hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders or springs in order to provide the required resistance. Many of the available exercising devices are rather heavy and/or bulky, which reduces the portability of the device. In fact, these devices are mostly used as a stationary training apparatus.

Some of the existing exercising devices are relatively compact and light-weight. However, these exercising devices are often of limited use. For example, when the exercise device is a dumb-bell, the dumb-bell will only exercise a relatively limited group of muscles. A further drawback of the existing exercising devices is that they are comparatively heavy. For instance, in case of using a dumb-bell for training the arms or legs of a subject, the weight of the dumb-bell is at least several kilograms. This reduces the portability of the exercising device considerably.

Because of the comparatively heavy weight of the dumb-bells they may cause injuries to the muscles. For, example, when a dumb-bell is used for training the hand of a person, the hand is twisted in order to exercise different muscles in the hand. Due to the inertial load of the dumb bell and the resulting torque on the hand, injuries can easily occur.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a relatively compact and light-weight exercising device which obviates the above mentioned drawbacks of the prior art, the exercising device being able to provide muscular training of multiple muscle groups during work-out sessions.

According to a first aspect of the present invention a device for exercising a body part of a person is provided, the device comprising:

    • a substantially annular member;
    • means for gripping the member, the gripping means being arranged substantially in the centre of the annulus;
    • a weight;
    • means for guiding the weight along the member for generating a centrifugal force caused by rotation of the weight along the annular member. The centrifugal force generated by the rotation of the weight is transmitted to the body part of the person.

The resulting force exerted on the body part is of constant magnitude when the rotation velocity is kept constant, but has a continuously changing direction. This ensures that relatively large muscle groups can be trained and that the trained muscle group will be kept constantly under strain.

The device is highly portable and can be used as a muscle strengthening and toning device as well as an aerobic training enhancement tool. The orbital oscillation of the weight works multiple muscle groups during workout sessions and provides many combinations of possible exercises.

In a preferred embodiment the guiding means comprise a passage through the annular member, the weight rotatable along said passage. In this embodiment the weight is displaced along the interior of the annular member, which implies that the weight is kept out of reach of any body parts that could be injured by the movement of the weight. The present embodiment therefore provides a very safe exercising device.

In a preferred embodiment the annular member is a hollow member and the weight comprises one or more balls, the balls being dimensioned so as to be freely movable inside the hollow member. By using one or more ball, preferably made of steel or similar material, the rotating movement can be accomplished easily. When the annular member additionally made detachable, i.e. when the member can be opened and closed by the person, then the weight may be adjusted by replacing the ball with one or more heavier or lighter balls.

In a preferred embodiment the annular member is a hollow member and the weight comprises a liquid, the liquid being rotatable inside the reservoir formed by the hollow member. The interior of the hollow member can be filled with liquid, for example waiter, and/or fine particles of a solid, for example sand. The liquid/solid can be rotated along the interior of the annular member and consequently induce the centrifugal forces on which the exercise is based.

In a preferred embodiment the guiding means comprise a bracket to which the weight is mounted, the bracket being provided with a slide for sliding the weight in a track provided in the periphery of the annular member.

In another preferred embodiment the weight comprises a second annular member of a larger diameter than the first annular member, wherein the guiding means comprises a plurality of bearings arranged between the first and second annular members.

In a preferred embodiment the gripping means comprise a transverse handle attached to the annular member for gripping by the person. In this embodiment a handle is provided which can be gripped by the person for linking the annular member to the relevant body part of the person. This makes the device suitable for training predominantly the muscle groups at or in the vicinity of the wrist. The handle may be detachably mounted to the annular member. In a state wherein the handle is detached, other embodiments of the gripping means may be employed. For example, the gripping means may comprise a sleeve for gripping said body part of the person. In this way muscle groups of other body parts, e.g. an arm or leg of the person, can be trained.

In another preferred embodiment the gripping means comprise an elastic fabric provided with a central opening into which the body part can be inserted for gripping the body part.

The combined weight of the device ranges from 0.2 kg to 3 kg, which makes it easy to carry. Preferably the combined weight of the device even ranges from 0.3 kg to 0.9 kg.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the object is achieved in a method of exercising a body part of a person with the above mentioned device, a method comprising the steps of:

    • arranging the body part to be exercised in the centre of the annular member;
    • attaching the body part to the annular member;
    • moving the body part causing the weight to rotate, along the annular member for exerting a centrifugal exercising force on at least said body part.

Further advantages, features and details of the, present invention will be elucidated on the bases of the following description of some preferred embodiments thereof. Reference is made in the description to the figures, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a partly cut-away view in perspective of a first preferred embodiment of the exercising device;

FIG. 2 shows a partly cut-away view in perspective of a second preferred embodiment of the exercising device; and

FIG. 3 shows a partly cut-away view in perspective of a third preferred embodiment of the exercising device.

The exercising device 1 of FIG. 1 comprises an annular member 2 which is formed of an upper plastic part 4 and a lower plastic part 3, which are glued together. The upper and lower parts 3,4 define a passage 5 formed inside the annular member 2. The passage 5 has a smooth inner surface, on which a ball 6 of a predetermined weight, for example ranging from 0.1 kg-2,5 kg, can freely rotate (cf. P1). In the centre of the annular member 20a handle 7 is provided, the handle being attached to the annular member 2 as to define two openings in which the hand of the person can be inserted.

In use, a person grips the handle 7 and moves the handle and the annular member 2 attached to it in such a way, that the ball 6 is starting to roll. Eventually the ball 6 end up rotating along the interior 5 of the annular member 2. The rotation of the ball 6 causes a centrifugal force to be exerted on the handle and the hand of the person gripping the handle 7.

As the ball rotates along the interior of the member 2, a centrifugal force caused by the rotation movement of the ball will have a constantly changing direction and will, therefore exert a force of constantly changing direction on the hand or arm of the person. This implies amongst others that the exercising device will train many muscle groups simultaneously. For example, when the device is gripped by the hand, at the same time the muscle groups at the front, at the back and at both sides of the wrist as well as several muscle groups of the arm are trained.

If the velocity of the ball 6 is sufficiently high, the exercising device 1 will function as a gyroscope. Due to the rotation of the weight the device will then resist against any change of orientation of the handle. This gyroscopic effect gives rise to numerous additional exercises. Furthermore muscles throughout the whole body must be used to stabilize the person exercising.

In the above exercises are discussed wherein the weight is rotated at considerable speed along the annular member. Other exercises are also feasible. For instance, the device may be oriented parallel the floor. The subject then slowly tilts the device in order to displace the weight under the influence of gravity to a certain position. It is also possible to force the weight in a slow, oscillating movement of the device along the annular member 2.

FIG. 2 shows a second embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment the handle 7 is removed and replaced by an elastic fabric 8. The fabric is provided with an opening O through which the hand or another body part of the person can be inserted. The opening O is slightly smaller than the space occupied by the body part. For this reason and because of the elastic nature of the fabric, the fabric will grip the body part, for example the wrist, the elbow, the knee, et cetera and the exercising device is then be ready for use.

Furthermore, in this embodiment the passage 5 defined by the upper part 4 and lower part 3 of the annular member 2 is filled with a liquid, for example water, or solid material, for example sand. FIG. 2 shows a partly cut-way perspective, view of the second embodiment. The liquid 9 is shown schematically in the partly cut-away portion of the member 2. The liquid or solid fulfils a similar function as the ball, i.e. it induces the centrifugal forces.

FIG. 3 shows a further embodiment of the present invention. In this invention the elastic fabric 8 is replaced by a sleeve 14, preferably also of elastic material. The sleeve has the same gripping function as the elastic fabric as shown in FIG. 2. In use, the body part to be exercised is inserted through the sleeve 14. In order to secure the sleeve 14 to the body part, two straps 15 are provided, the straps being provided with velcro or other suitable fastening means.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 an element 11 is provided, which can be rotated along the circumferential edge 17 of the annular member 2. In the circumferential edge 17 of the member 2 a track 10 is provided. The track 10 comprises a groove which in cross-section has a broadening shape. The element 11 on its part is provided with a rod 12, at the outer end of which a slide 13 is attached. The slide 13 is shaped in correspondence with the shape of the groove 10. The shape of the cross-section of the slide 13 corresponds to the shape cross-section of the groove 10. The shown construction enables the element 11 to be slid (cf. P2) along the annular member 2.

In a further preferred embodiment (not shown in the drawings) a second annular member of a larger inner diameter than the outer diameter of the annular member 2 is provided. Between the outer annular member and the inner annular member 2 bearings are arranged. In this way the outer annular member can rotate around the first annular member, thereby creating the centrifugal forces that are required for the muscular training.

The above embodiment and the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 are preferably provided with a housing (not shown) connected to the annular member 2 for encasing the passage that is needed for the rotating outer annular member and element 11 respectively. In this way the annular member and the element 11 are prevented from being exposed to the outside, thereby reducing the risks of injuries caused by any rotating parts.

The present invention is not limited to the above described preferred embodiments thereof; the rights sought are defined by the following claims, within the scope of which many modifications can be envisaged.